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You Kintail it's a Forcan Good Mountain!

You Kintail it's a Forcan Good Mountain!


Postby jupe1407 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:36 pm

Route description: The Saddle, Forcan Ridge and Sgurr na Sgine

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr na Sgine, The Saddle

Date walked: 16/08/2013

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 12.3 km

Ascent: 1448m

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So the eagerly anticipated WH Skye Meet was upon us. I'd arranged to do the Forcan Ridge with PeteR, Bald Falcon (Stevie) and Sunny Speyside (Evie) in the preceding days, and luckily, the expected dismal forecast looked like it might be relatively kind to us on Friday, before delivering all manner of torrential rain and howling gale force winds over Skye on the Saturday. Accurate weather forecasts are annoying.

So anyway, not wanting to face a camper-van laden A9 in the day light hours, I set off from Forfar about 11:30pm, and got to the layby before the Malagan Bridge in Glen Shiel at around 2:30am. I was still surprisingly awake, so spent a wee while faffing about with the camera in darkness.

Forcan Ridge (1 of 34).jpg
Light trails from a van which went past me at about 90mph!


Eventually I crashed out and after a fairly uncomfortable 3-4 hours of kip i awoke to find the dreaded midges waiting on their breakfast.

Forcan Ridge (2 of 34).jpg
Arrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh


The others arrived after a short while, and once ready, and more importantly after a cuppie and some chocolate, we were off. The initial ascent is very pleasant, not too long but not too steep, and with ever-increasing good views of Glen Shiel and the sisters. I was fairly firing through the memory card's capacity.

Forcan Ridge (6 of 34).jpg
Glen Shiel towards Loch Duich


Forcan Ridge (7 of 34).jpg
Close up of Sgurr Na Ciste Duibhe


Forcan Ridge (8 of 34).jpg
Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe and Glen Shiel


After a short while, we reached Bealach Na Craoibhe and started to head for the base of the Forcan Ridge itself. Evie took the lower path following the dyke (who the hell decided to start building walls up mountains? :lol: ) and Pete, Stevie and myself started the scramble.

Forcan Ridge (9 of 34).jpg
The start of the scrambling...


The initial pull up onto the ridge is quite easy. Indeed, following the route is pretty straightforward as it's mostly just a case of following the crampon marks. There are very short sections of path only, leaving the vast majority of the ridge as a scramble, making it an altogether better experience.

Forcan Ridge (15 of 34).jpg
PeteR


Forcan Ridge (16 of 34).jpg
Mini Inn-Pinn!


Before long, we reached Sgurr Na Forcan with the 10m down-scramble. Stevie took it on and got down safely, and though tempted to try it, I took the bypass path with Pete to the left. There wasn't much left to gain the summit cairn now, apart from a knife-edged ridge section. Very enjoyable though :D

Forcan Ridge (20 of 34).jpg
Stevie doing the down-pitch


Forcan Ridge (21 of 34).jpg
Last pull to the Saddle Summit


After the summit, we daundered to the trig point to catch up with Evie and had some lunch. Luckily, the clag relented and the views fairly opened out for a while.

Forcan Ridge (17 of 34).jpg
Rainbow at Loch Duich


Forcan Ridge (19 of 34).jpg
A look back down the ridge


Forcan Ridge (24 of 34).jpg
A wee lochan and Kintail :-)


We also had an interested visitor....

Forcan Ridge (23 of 34).jpg
Scrounging Raven


After a short while, we set off the descent path to the Bhealach Coire Mhalagain. Typically, after managing a fun and exposed scramble for an hour or so, within about five minutes on a proper path, I slipped and bashed my kneecap off a rock. This was to annoy me for the rest of the route and made descending less than fun. We got a fine look at the ridge from this angle as well.

Forcan Ridge (27 of 34).jpg
Zoomed out shot of the ridge


Forcan Ridge (28 of 34).jpg
The first peak of the ridge


So off we headed to Sgurr Na Sgine or "The Peak of the Knife". Surely it should have been renamed "Peak of the Spirit crushing Climb over boulders followed by numerous false summits".

Actually i'm being harsh, it's a nice mountain in it's own right, and probably suffers negatively as it's paired with The Saddle. It was indeed a "stiff climb" as described by the site, but good views were still coming and going.

Forcan Ridge (30 of 34).jpg
Towards Loch Hourn


Forcan Ridge (31 of 34).jpg
Gleouraich?


We finally made the summit cairn after three or four falsies (due to the clag). A quick bite to eat (no photos as no views!) and we made the descent back down and after a brief chat over descent options, took the sensible route down over Faochag. The descent was horrible, but Faochag is a fantastic wee peak.

Forcan Ridge (32 of 34).jpg
Faochag


Forcan Ridge (34 of 34).jpg
One last look at the ridge


I'm really not a fan of descents at all, and this one was really unpleasant. Again though, the mishap happened back on level ground when attempted to get over a spot of marshy ground before Allt Mhalagain. A solid looking clump of grass wasn't that solid really, and i plunged into stinking knee deep mud. On the plus side, this simplified the river crossing to a refreshing walk through it :lol:

A cracking day out was ended with a small can of beer (courtesy of Stevie), a midge attack and a slow as hell drive to Sligachan for a very interesting weekend :lol:

Thanks to Pete, Stevie and Evie for an excellent day out.
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jupe1407
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Re: You Kintail it's a Forcan Good Mountain!

Postby The Rodmiester » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:44 pm

Nice one John! and really good photographs to boot! Well worth getting up that unearthly hour for :D
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Re: You Kintail it's a Forcan Good Mountain!

Postby jupe1407 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:46 pm

The Rodmiester wrote:Nice one John! and really good photographs to boot! Well worth getting up that unearthly hour for :D


Glad i did, the road back this afternoon was absolutely horrendous in both directions. Daft midnight drives are the way forward. :lol:
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Re: You Kintail it's a Forcan Good Mountain!

Postby Meatball » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:52 pm

Did you move the trig to the true summit?
Quite annoying! Haha

Nice report btw!
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Re: You Kintail it's a Forcan Good Mountain!

Postby Clach Liath » Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:01 pm

Nice atmospheric photos of a favourite peak of mine :)
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Re: You Kintail it's a Forcan Good Mountain!

Postby Graeme D » Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:31 pm

Nice one JP. Good to see someone got some serious hill time in this weekend! :shock:
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Re: You Kintail it's a Forcan Good Mountain!

Postby soapy27 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:58 am

Cracking report and photos there John :clap: Truly an amazing ridge this one.
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Re: You Kintail it's a Forcan Good Mountain!

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:19 am

I see I'm not the only one who hated the descent over Faochag :lol: :lol: But apart from the final part, this route is fantastic... Forcan Ridge looks even more daunting in cloud...
I wonder if the raven you photographed was the same one we spotted on the very summit of the Saddle (June this year):
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Re: You Kintail it's a Forcan Good Mountain!

Postby PeteR » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:16 pm

Nice report Jupe and some super photos :D Cracking first photo and some nice atmosphere in the others too :D

It sure was a great day on these two :D, despite that descent :shock: A day to live long in the memory.

Great to meet you, Evie and Stevie on the day too :wave:

I've still to trawl through the handful of photos I took on the day :lol:, but once I've done that I might just add a report of my own too at some point.
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Re: You Kintail it's a Forcan Good Mountain!

Postby Scotjamie » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:51 pm

Thoroughly enjoyed that report JP. Great walk, especially as the weather 'turned slightly' after this. :roll:
Because of weather we followed the wall to the bealach, so may return to the ridge tempted by your excellent pics.
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Re: You Kintail it's a Forcan Good Mountain!

Postby jupe1407 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:02 pm

Thanks for the nice comments guys.

BP - It's probably the same one. I think Ravens are creatures of habit and that one will be fully aware of the potential of scraps on the summit :lol:

SJ - I'd definitely recommend it. I'd like to go back and do this one on a good day again.

Pete - You got that knife-edge crest one? :lol:
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Re: You Kintail it's a Forcan Good Mountain!

Postby PeteR » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:08 pm

jupe1407 wrote:Pete - You got that knife-edge crest one? :lol:


Watch this space.... :D
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Re: You Kintail it's a Forcan Good Mountain!

Postby Sunny Speyside » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:29 pm

Great day out and smashing photos JP - I am really sorry now that I didn't take on the ridge :lol: :lol: :lol:
Cheers from
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Re: You Kintail it's a Forcan Good Mountain!

Postby trekker53 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:05 pm

Well done to you all in bagging a couple of Munro's prior to meet. As we know it was a wise choice. Some good photos there John. Nice to meet you again at meet.
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Re: You Kintail it's a Forcan Good Mountain!

Postby jupe1407 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:29 pm

trekker53 wrote:Well done to you all in bagging a couple of Munro's prior to meet. As we know it was a wise choice. Some good photos there John. Nice to meet you again at meet.


And yourself.

Hope you've got some decent weather after staying on!
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